Live Review from Social Media Underground:
1. The Choice That I’ve Made
2. For the Lost Souls
3. The Sun Also Rises
4. Just Gone
Bringing up their sixth appearance at an Underground show, Killer Soap played the part of the not-too heavy band that allows a transition from acoustic/light music sets to heavier stuff; and, boy, did they play it well. Their songs, nearly all of them, are astutely arranged; arrangements that create a sort of synergy between the different musical elements. Which is not to say that they’re inadequate musicians in any way – singer Rocky’s chops alone can put that idea to bed. It’s more that the very creditable restraint that they show (guitarists in particular) might make the songs seem underwhelming if they weren’t arranged as well as they were. Their atmospheric, at times ethereal guitars, soar in a way that makes your soundscape seem to be pleasantly expanding – a very 1999-and-after Foo Fighters tendency.
Rocky’s voice and vocal technique is impeccable, but also bordering on being very similar to the kind of insubstantial pop-singing that one hears in manufactured groups. In fact (and let me make it very clear that this is my opinion, hehe) when heard individually are quite similar to trends from 2000s pop rock – trailing, somewhat feel-good melodies made punchy by pedals, the rootsless drum style, and the singing that’s dangerously close to being ingratiating. BUT, the band takes on just the approaches that have lead to these results while avoiding the results themselves mostly due to their abovementioned restraint and arranging-acuity. Guitar effects are used with judiciousness worthy of Tom Morello (though not in a similar way). The result is a very lifting, flourish-based sound that’s reminiscent of the Goo Goo Dolls (at least in their Hold Me Up phase). For the Lost Souls is a particularly good example of this; the excellently coordinated stop-start structure and combined epic feel of the contrasting guitars (one soaring while one plays peeking-round-the-corner notes) were like ear-honey. The pauses, by the way, pervaded most of their songs, and each one was perfectly executed, so well done, guys. Just Gone (highly reminiscent of Hungry Ghosts’ Chinese Families to start with) highlighted even more clearly their ability to arrange well, because the splintered-texture of the guitars playing rousing melodies blended perfectly with the vocals. Reason, their most “famous” song, was a tour-de-force, being slightly more nitro-charged and intense than the other songs. It actually reminds me a bit of In Love & Pain’s style, with some light metal drums entering the sound. A very intense ending to a great set; testified to by the fact that the audience demanded more songs as they left the stage.
– Shashwati Kala.Message from Killer Soap about CD3 Release Party B:Thank you so much to The Underground team and Koya-san! It was our first time recording in a professional studio and it was so much fun to work with Koya-san! Thank you so much for his time and patience recording and mixing with us! Thank you so much Chris for choosing us for CD#3! The CD release party was sooooo fun! We have been taking rest for months already and we finally re-discovered ourselves on stage in the party. Playing at The Underground shows always make us feel home! Special thanks to all our friends who came to the party and sang along with us!
Live Review from Underground 77:
This is Killer Soap’s 4th appearance at the Underground, and the first since their return from GBOB’s global final in London towards the end of last year. The band opened the set with a cover song of a well known Hong Kong band (itself no stranger to the Underground) – Audiotraffic’s Happy?, much to the amusement and surprise of the audience because it was so unexpected. The rest of the set consisted of a few well known numbers which had helped to take this superb band to UK last year, as well as 3 new songs, all of which were seemed to be based around lost love and moving on in the Soap’s signature punchy yet smooth J-rock style with feet tapping grooves and haunting guitar. I have been following this band since I first saw them at a competition almost 2 years ago and despite having seen them many times and having heard their songs over and over again, I never seem to get tired of them as their songs are so interesting and well delivered. Armed with a new material, I hope this band will keep entertaining Hong Kong and beyond for the foreseeable future.
Live Review from Underground 65:
Killer Soap came out and announced they recently went into their fourth band competition, and for the fourth time, they were placed second. Oh, bummer. But I thought some bands never got number one in a band competition, so I for one, wouldn’t judge them based on their placing in a band competition. Ha ha ha ha. Enough joking. Killer Soap actually came out like the headliner; it seemed the crowd knew that. If you hadn’t heard Killer Soap, it’s emo (if they didn’t mind being labelled as emo) rock solid. And the heart-felt music was so fast, guitar, drum, bass, everything, at times it actually sounded a little messy. No offence, may be that’s why Killer Soap was not first place. Great vocal contribution from Rocky. Just his singing alone should land them a record contract, but they were still selling their home-made CD at the show at any price you want. Even with the killer guitar riffs and fast rhythm section, Rocky’s voice cut right through, quite like most J-rock vocals. They ended their set with an old song called “Distance” because it was the last gig with their current bass player, who’s a founding member. With the current market shortage of bass players, I hope it would not affect their schedule.
Live Review from Underground 58:
- 1. Somebody
2. Get rid of you
3. Once again
6. Dirty man
Not a new bathtime product for those hateful kids you have to babysit or the title of a B-grade horror movie, this band’s name is some kind of word play that can be translated as something akin to ‘secret weapon’. Stuck in the Cross Harbor Tunnel they were nowhere to be seen for soundcheck. But, once in the building, and by their second song, they had drawn a big fan following so the drama was all worth it.
More of a traditional rock band, rather than alt-rock, they offered a mix of loud rhythms and melodic lead guitar. The lead vocalist has the ‘it’-factor quality to his voice.
There was just enough variation in the vocals to save their sound from becoming too mainstream and there was just enough loudness from the rhythm section to save their songs from being too ordinary. I think I find the composition of their songs a bit too predictable. Since they have chosen their weapons, they should now use them to inflict fatal wounds and not just give us a few shaving nicks.
Isobel S. Saunders
Live Review from Underground 48:
Killer Soap conveys the true essence of a band – five guys working together to create tight, catchy tunes that got my feet tapping and put excitement in my groove. The vocalist (Rocky) has one of the best voices I’ve heard yet from a Hong Kong band and has an energy that’s cool but not arrogant, focused but not too controlled. The stage presence was excellent and the occasional jumps in the air worked well with the audience. The music was one paradox after another: youthful and energetic but delivered with a high level of maturity, generic yet unique at the same time. The name may be silly but Killersoap is surely a class rock act.
“Killer Soap loves THE UNDERGROUND for supporting original music and HK bands. The gig was well prepared and organized. We can feel their passion and efforts deep in our hearts! Rock on!” – quote from Killer Soap.